On Tuesday afternoon, the post position draw for the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby took place. This race was shaping up to be a great race; a must watch you might say. You have horses that competed in the Triple Crown, including Kentucky Derby winner MEDINA SPIRIT. We all know the controversy that has taken place since then with MEDINA SPIRIT's Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.
MEDINA SPIRIT ended up getting post position nine of ten. Before the draw, Baffert mentioned if he drew outside he could end up scratching MEDINA SPIRIT— and that's exactly what he did. Baffert would go on to say that there was too much speed inside of his horse, most notably HOT ROD CHARLIE and MIDNIGHT BOURBON, who drew seven and eight, respectively.
This is where I take issue
and say... C'MON BOB!
You're going to scratch your horse because the speed is inside of you by one or two post positions? That sounds absurd, not to mention most people would prefer their horse to be on the outside because their jockey would get more choices on what to do; they can see what the other horses are doing to their inside. Baffert also ended up scratching PRIVATE MISSION, who was supposed to be running in the Grade 1 Cotillion Stakes on the same race card. Baffert gets to call the shots and who am I to question a Hall of Fame trainer?
The issue becomes another horrible look for horse racing and for Bob Baffert. Everyone has come up with their own conclusions on why he decided to scratch MEDINA SPIRIT. I don't need to get into them, as you can go on Twitter or Facebook and see for yourself.
My thought is Baffert is doing everything he can to make sure MEDINA SPIRIT wins every race, and so he doesn't get any more criticism or doubts that the Kentucky Derby was legit. He doesn't need to go up against nine other horses in a race out East. Baffert can find a stakes race in California with five horses in it and run him. Baffert said that the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita would be MEDINA SPIRIT's next race. That race takes place next Saturday October 2nd, 2021.
At the end of the day, this shouldn't come down to if you're pro Bob Baffert or anti Bob Baffert. It should come down to what is best for horse racing. And hearing Bob Baffert's excuses of late is not good for the casual horse racing fan. The Pennsylvania Derby will still be a great race this weekend. In fact what a card lined up for Saturday at Parx! As a fan and bettor, it's a must watch. You can tune into our YouTube channel, as Rich and Terry will be covering all the races at Parx on Saturday. Let's hope MEDINA SPIRIT races next weekend and performs well. If he doesn't, all the critics will be out again.